Friday, February 22, 2013

Vrschikasana or Scorpion Pose

The pose this week is a pose that I greatly admire and am working towards in my own yoga practice. I refer to yoga poses that I’m working towards as a “peak pose.” This name came about during my 200 hr yoga teacher training at New York Yoga. At that time, headstand was my peak pose. I worked on my headstand every night about three times per night. I diligently worked toward my headstand and after a week conquered it! Needless to say, I was very happy. But reaching the physical asana of a pose is not the end of your practice. We can use each pose within our yoga practice (as in each experience in our life) to continue to evolve.

So, don’t be deterred if you don’t immediately reach the physical asana of scorpion pose. As in life, it’s a process.

Sanskrit: Vrschikasana                                                Western Term: Scorpion Pose

Type of Asana: Inversion/Backbend

How To:
1.     Stand and come onto your hands and knees placing your forearms on the mat. Lengthen your arms to create a straight line between elbows, forearms, and middle fingers. Attempt to maintain parallel between the arms.
2.     Walk your feet in to your hands as close as you can towards your head. Keep your gaze between your hands, not at your feet.
3.     Lift your right leg straight up and take little hops, so that your left foot comes off the ground. Bend your left knee slightly in order to hop. Staying right here and working on your hops is a GREAT place for beginners to the pose.
4.     For those who would like to advance further in the pose, find your balance and bring your legs straight together and up towards the ceiling. Tuck your tailbone and ribs in to help stay balanced.
5.     Slowly bend your knees as your shift your chest forward slightly. If your back is very flexible, your feet will have no problem touching your head. If you’re not as bendy, you can hold Scorpion pose with the feet dangling above your head.
6.     Hold for five breaths (or as long as comfortable) before straightening your legs and lowering your feet back towards the floor.
7.     Please come down and rest in balasana or child’s pose for an equal amount of time that you’re up in Scorpion pose.

Body Points:
*Tuck your tailbone and ribs in (for stability)
*Release feet down toward your head
*Keep elbows parallel

 Emphasized Body Parts: shoulders, abs, back muscles, and improves your balance

Mental Achievements: opens your heart, helps bring humility, and move beyond your ego. Helps tune in to your intuition. 

Chakra: Ajna chakra or 6th chakra which is symbolized by a two-petaled lotus in the color indigo located near the “third eye” in the center of your forehead.

-bija mantra or "seed sound" is "OM"

Ancient Sanskrit Proverb: "Flower has scent. Sesame seeds have oil. Milk has fat. There is sweetness in sugarcane. None of the above can be seen. Just like that, we cannot see the soul in the body although it is very much there."

Element: light

Yogi Tune of the Week: "Each Time" by Steve Gold

*If you’re new to this pose, please do not attempt without a certified yoga instructor present.
**Do not attempt pose if you suffer from hip or back problems or if you have a history of heart disease, vertigo, or high blood pressure


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